Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues Co-Chairs Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Gus M. Bilirakis (FL-12), David G. Valadao (CA-22), and Adam B. Schiff (CA-30) issued a statement following reports of Azerbaijan’s unprovoked attacks on Artsakh earlier today:
“The Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues has warned for months that Azerbaijan was implementing a genocidal campaign against the Armenian people of Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) in broad daylight. The large-scale attack by Azerbaijani forces today further escalates that campaign, taking advantage of a people they have systematically starved over the last 10 months.
It is still too early to tell the full breadth and scale of this attack, but initial reports indicate that Azerbaijan is using deadly force, including heavy shelling, against residential and civilian areas in Stepanakert. According to reports, the attacks have so far resulted in at least 138 injured individuals, including 29 civilians, and 25 fatalities, including one child.
President Aliyev orchestrated this deliberate attack to exile the Armenian population in Artsakh. The so-called ‘humanitarian corridors’ they reportedly opened for civilians to use to leave the area are only meant to further perpetuate their campaign of ethnic cleansing using violence, hunger, and fear to push these people out of their homeland. Armenians have called Nagorno-Karabakh home for thousands of years.
The United States should use every diplomatic tool, including sanctions, to help guarantee their right to remain there. We call on the State Department and our international partners to take immediate action to halt any further aggressions by Azerbaijani forces and ensure their safety and security.”